Is “The Duck” The Best We Can Do? // @SwooshMcDuck
In a recent Twitter poll, conducted by yours truly, I posed the question of ‘What Should The University of Oregon’s Mascot Be Called?’ The poll was left up for a week, and garnered 272 votes (thank you to those who took the time to vote). For a look at the poll, CLICK HERE.
The Duck vs Puddles (sorry Roboduck, Mandrake, Duck Vader, whatever you call yourself, we’d like to forget you) is the most heated Twitter debate this side of Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich (it is), and one that will continue to rage so long as the University continues to use the boring, mundane name of “The Duck”. I get it, we ALL get it, Puddles was the name of the live mascot from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Nobody is denying this. Instead, we are advocating the change of the name of the mascot to Puddles. It’s cute. It’s cuddly. It gives you a warm feeling to say Puddles & not in reference to what the Autzen lots are filled with on a November Gameday morning.
The Duck is fine. It’s not that we have anything against him, per se. It’s just horribly boring to call the mascot & the costume, well, exactly what it is. It’s so impersonal to call a mascot/character that is so great, such a plain name. Imagine if Texas had decided, you know, Bevo is kinda meh, lets call him The Steer. If Florida had decided Albert was too formal, so we call him The Alligator. If Uga XIVIXVVXII was simply called The Bulldog. I know, I know, here comes the “BUT THOSE ARE REAL LIVE ANIMALS SO OF COURSE THEY HAVE NAMES!” crowd. If that’s the case, why does Little Brother have Benny? Why do the Huskies have Harry? Or Wazzu have Butch? They too are costumes of animals that are the nicknames of their respective schools.
Up until about 2 years ago, even the officially licensed NCAA school calendars still called The Duck by the name of Puddles. Many publications, including SBNation still call him Puddles. It makes complete sense, for a mascot who is as universally loved as the one called The Duck, needs a moniker that distinguishes him from the average mascot. Try it on for size, say it aloud as you read this “Wow, look at Puddles do those push-ups”, or “Did you see Puddles hit the Dougie with that kid outside of the Mo pre-game?”. It sounds decent, right? We give those we love & enjoy nicknames in our daily lives, why not for him?
If you want to continue to call him The Duck, it’s fine, I won’t fault you. It’s what the school wants you to call him. The school with so much flash & sizzle when it comes to uniforms, buildings, etc. that when it came to the mascot, they’re like “Eh, lets just call him what he is, that’ll do”. Myself along with many others think he deserves a better name, a name fitting of the mascot who can regularly bring ESPN Gameday hosts to tears with laughter. A name that not only harkens back to the beginnings of the program, but a name that expresses his individuality & our admiration & love for him.
PS: Don’t @ me
((Editors Note: Please tweet at him.))